About 150 people allegedly occupy housing project in Eerste River

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  • The Western government says about 150 people allegedly occupied a housing project in Eerste River on Friday evening.
  • It is alleged 126 units were taken over.
  • However, security and the sheriff of the court managed to evict all the occupiers.

About 150 people allegedly occupied houses at the Forest Village Housing Project in Eerste River on Friday evening.  

According to Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers, residents from Woodstock, Manenberg, Elsies River and Kalkfontein shared messages on WhatsApp encouraging the occupation. 

"At this stage, it is estimated that 126 units were invaded," Simmers said. 

However, security managed to eject 80 occupiers on Friday evening, and the sheriff of the court removed the remaining ones on Saturday morning.  

"The extent of the damage is currently being ascertained, and this will assist in determining what the cost of repairs will be."

In a statement, Simmers condemned the occupation.

"These attempts cannot be condoned, as it is counter-productive to ensuring that those who have been approved for a housing opportunity in this project are unable to move in," he said.

"In addition, it also causes unnecessary delays to the full completion of small work that still needs to be done to the units, and now with damage that would have to be repaired."

The MEC said a case had been opened with the police to bring those responsible to book.

"These invasions are pure criminality, and I will insist that those who participated face the full might of the law."

Simmers added the housing project had already benefitted more than 3 000 residents to date.

"Those whose living conditions has drastically improved are from the N2 Gateway, the Southern Corridor, from the local communities such as Eerste River, Eerste River South, Electric City, Faure, Dreamworld, Blue Downs, Malibu Village, Kleinvlei, Rosedale, Mfuleni and Fairdale, with a few priority cases.

"As the Western Cape government, we're open to engaging any and all communities about grievances which they might have, however, this should be done in a legal and meaningful manner so that concerns can be addressed."

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